* Q3 revenue rises 2 pct, slowdown from H1 of 8 pct
* Recycling still buoyant, other sectors slipping
* Maintains operating profit forecast of 370-390 mln euros
* Shares drop 2 pct, among weakest in Europe
(Adds details, background, shares)
BRUSSELS, Oct 23 Belgium-based specialty
materials group Umicore said conditions would be tough
in all markets except recycling in the final three months of
2012 after growth slowed sharply in the third quarter.
The former miner, which now recovers precious metal from old
computers and mobile phones and produces materials for
rechargeable batteries, said revenues rose by 2 percent in the
Revenue rose by 11 percent in the first quarter and by 8
percent in the first six months.
Umicore shares were down 2.2 percent at 39.18 euros at 0800
GMT, making them among the weakest in the FTSEurofirst 300 index
of leading European stocks.
KBC Securities cut its recommendation for Umicore to hold
from accumulate, saying the share price was close to its 41
euros target and that there were few potential boosts coming up.
Umicore said the slowdown in the global economy was more
pronounced in the third quarter with a number of end-markets hit
by lower demand and reduced visibility on customer orders.
The slowdown was felt most in performance materials, such as
for building and tools, and in energy materials, except
rechargeable batteries. In its catalysts division, revenues rose
slightly, but started to feel the effects of lower demand in the
European automotive sector.
However, recycling revenue rose 8 percent, mainly due to the
health of precious metal refining. Umicore said supply of
industrial residues and profitability should remain strong in
the fourth quarter.
Recycling made up 56 percent of operating profit in the
The company maintained its forecast that 2012 recurring
operating profit would reach 370-390 million euros. Last year
the figure was 416 million euros ($543.7 million).
($1 = 0.7651 euros)
(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Helen